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WLAN, LAN

About Connectors

WLAN connectors
Most WLAN devices are equipped with SMA-RP connectors, whilst outdoor antennas are equipped with N-type connectors. Using Tri-Lan 240 E1171 cable, one needs to terminate it with SMA RP connector (e.g. 240 E1171) on one side, and adequate male or female N connector (depending on the antenna) on the other side. Without having a crimping tool, one needs twist-on connectors. However, crimped connectors are preferred for the reason of their reliability.
SMA R/P connector
The connectors can be installed on Tri-Lan 240 cable with the use of E8000 crimping tool. Besides the crimping tool, one also needs a soldering iron.
In the case of Tri-Lan 400, which is a thicker cable than Tri-Lan 240, one needs SMA RP plug to N-male cable (it is impossible to mount SMA-RP connector directly on Tri-Lan 400 cable). We recommend the ready-to-use cables/adapters E83220.
SMA RP Plug to N-male Cable (RF-5) E83220
Crimp-on connectors
Male connector E84715
Screw-on connectors
N Plug for H-500/1000 Cable (clamped)
N-female clamped on H-500/1000 cable
Male connector - E84717 plug |
Female connector - E84322 socket
The ways of terminating cables can be found here. After preparing the cable, one should solder the inner wire, and then put the central tip on it, heating the tip with soldering iron.
The role of connectors in WLAN systems
Objective data on quality of connectors can be provided only by specific measurements performed with the use of expensive devices. However, when buying a connector, one can estimate the quality of the thread, galvanic coating, etc.
The most visible fault of a coaxial connector is a deflection of the central tip/pin (so called - hot) from the axis of symmetry. It is recommended to pay attention to the defect after the connector has been mounted on the cable. It happens that the dielectric becomes overheated during soldering, which causes deflection of the central pin from the axis of symmetry.
When connecting a plug which has a nut, one should paid attention to screwing it to the socket using always and only the nut. Turning the connector itself, it causes central wire to scratch onto the hole wall surface, and may result in significant deterioration of parameters. We can also assert that even properly operated connectors keep their parameters only for limited number of cycles (connections and disconnections) - typically up to 500-800 cycles - however improper use significantly shortens their service life. Additionally, for the connectors mounted on cables, it is worth to know exact manufacturer recommendations. The manufacturer usually informs about proper distances of the layers of the cable that should be cut in relation to the "hot" wire tip.
Even the best connector causes a loss of signal. So, one should avoid excessive number of connectors within antenna feeder lines. A good manufacturer of connectors shows two important parameters, specifying signal loss. The first of them - VSWR - specifies what part of the signal power is being reflected back to the transmitter. The value for 2.4 GHz band shouldn't exceed 1.5 dB, which corresponds with reflection of ca. 4% of the signal power. The second of them is called insertion loss, the value of which shouldn't be larger than 0.2dB, which corresponds to ca. 0.5% of the signal power.
Connectors applied for antennas mounted outdoors should have adequate protection against water. It is a fundamental matter, because any drop of water which penetrates the line will cause that significant part of the transmitted power (even a few tens of percent) will be dissipated, i.e. turned into heat.
Generally, only N-type connectors meet the requirements for this kind of use - they have been designed for military marine applications. Unfortunately a significant part of this type of connectors doesn't support the original norms. If the manufacturer doesn't inform that the connector is compliant to adequate seal or military norms like MIL-C-39012, it is recommended to pay attention to the rubber pad mounted between two metal washers. They are used to squeeze the insulator, to make it fit tight to housing walls and this way to block the access of water.
The rubber of which the insulator is made shouldn't be too hard. Unfortunately, it is impossible to estimate thread's tightness with a naked eye.
Improperly mounted connector may be the reason of major signal loss and problems with running the network. It is important to properly prepare the cable and mount the connectors. In the case of crimped connectors, one needs to pay attention to the size of the crimping jaws, given by the manufacturer.
Clamp-on connectors, unlike crimped ones, can be dismantled, so the same connector can be mounted on cables many times. The mounting of clamp-on connectors may be somewhat difficult. Typical clamp-on connector consists of a pin, which is soldered to the central cable's wire, two pads, seal, sleeve clamping cable's shield to the connector, and a nut, which secures all elements.
Crimped connectors for H-155 cable. Proper performance of connectors influences the quality of transmission links. During designing process of the antennas ATK-16 (A7124) and ATK-P1 (A7130), there were carried out tests with selection of different connectors and the quality of work of different installers was compared as well. It turned out that in the case of coincidence of adverse factors related to bad quality of the connector and installer's work, the gain of the antennas decreased even by 30%. Very good quality and repeatability was achieved with the use of DIPOL connectors and the E8000 crimping tool.
To show in detail where the problem is, we have reviewed connectors and 2 crimping tools from our offer. Dimensions of elements of each connector have been measured - the results are collected in the table.
Connectors:
(all dimensions in mm)

Name

Code

Type

1

2

3

4

5

SMA R/P socket

E84155

Crimped

7.34

6.32

5.503

1.02

0.82

SMA plug

E84150

Crimped

7.56

6.6

5.44

0.96

1.16

N socket

E84135

Crimped

7.56

6.26

5.527

1.3

0.73

N plug

E84130

Crimped

7.56

6.4

5.477

1.16

0.92

TNCRP plug

E84140

Crimped

7.56

6.34

5.46

1.22

0.88

Legend:
1. outer sleeve diameter
2. inner sleeve diameter
3. outer corps diameter
4. sleeve wall thickness
5. distance sleeve - corps; space for the braid

Crimping tools:

Symbol

Code

-1-

-2-

HT-236I

E8000

6.3

6.4-6.5

HT-336C

E8002

6.5

6.46-6.50

Legend:
1. hexagon size declared by manufacturer (+/- 0.1 mm)
2. hexagon size - measured

DIPOL connectors maintain repeatable mechanical parameters, thicker sleeve lowers the risk of deformation after crimping. In the case when outer sleeve diameter is smaller, it is required to use compression tool with smaller hexagon size. The tools used by us have that size within 6.4 - 6.5 mm. The manufacturer's tolerance is +/-0.1 mm. The achieved results show that small differences in connector sizes can compensated by installers using adequate technique.
Basically, they should not cut too much of outer coating, because the sleeve crimped-on the braid itself is less stable. The braid must not stick out of the sleeve. To have the connection maximally tight, a fragment of outer coating can be left under the sleeve, if possible. The braid and shield should be in the best possible condition; if they are crashed or too short, the connection won't be solid. Due to the fact that the width of the crimper's jaw is less than the width of sleeve, it is possible to crimp the sleeve twice, on both ends. With a single crimping, the sleeve should be crimped as close to the connector as possible, not in the middle or by the cable.
We have collected the ways of mounting most of RF connectors in 1.06 MB PDF file here (there is a lot of well-understandable figures in; several useful translations: lutowac = solder, zacisnac = crimp, wywinac oplot = turn up the braid, wcisnac pod oplot = press under the braid).